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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

TED - Why Bother Leaving The House?

I've a confession to make.

We don't have cable TV nor do we have any digital basic channels.  I hate it all.  It's a waste of time, money, brain power,  and many facets of modern societal memes and norms depress and disgust me.  However, we do own a Roku 2, a small device that allows one to stream internet material (but no browsing) via channels such as Netflix, Hulu plus, etc.  I've never been much of a boob-tube guy but over the last 6 months I've become infatuated with TED.  If you're not familiar with it, its a simple online interface in which educated, interesting, enlightened people are filmed giving short (5-15 minutes) "lectures" to audiences, who are likely also of the same intellectual make-up. Topics are extremely diverse, wide ranging, and, in some cases humbling.  As my wife eloquently put it a week ago (after we had just finished watching a video on the history of everything), "Man, I feel stupid.  I need to read more." No shit. Me too.

Anyway, I just finished watching a short video by Arctic explorer, Ben Saunders.  Although I must admit I'm still high off the afterglow of a longerish run today in which I wandered and explored without a map, I found this video/talk very, very, very moving and somewhat poignant. Sorry if that sounds weird (I am drinking several pale ale homebrews while I type this), but this guy just clicked with me. I've ZERO desire to ever trek across the Arctic or to put my life in precarious situations to risk "fame", but this guy gets it.  I'm sure he doesn't realize it, but if you watch the video he could just as easily be summing up our lives as runners and outdoor adventurers. 


Some of his ideas and phrases PERFECTLY sum up our awesome, running, outside lifestyles.  Why do we do what we do?  Because..........why not?  Because we can.  Because roads and trails are there.  Because some day we're going to be dead and rotting away, recycled back into the ecosystem in some carbon-based molecules, to be consumed by future generations of organisms in some way shape and form.  They'll know nothing of our existence.  We'll be nothing other than organic fuel.  We're not as special as we're lead to believe.  Best to get out and drink up life and have fun while we can.  But if we as organisms are not special, at least we can make our cognitive experiences be special.

He says (in talking about his trek from Siberia across the North Pole to Canada), "...the scenery I saw for nearly three months was unique to me.  No one else will or could ever possibly see the views and vistas that I saw." Very Tao Te Ching-  not being able to step into the same river twice.  No person can experience a road or trail run EXACTLY as you do/did.   Other lines like "I can't tell you what it was like. You'll never know what it was like", and "..to do, to try, to experience, to engage, to endeavor, other than to watch and wonder--that's where the real...meat of life is to be found, the juice that we can suck out of our hours and days"  are  pretty on point as well.

So, whatever.  I'm going to stop there. I might be a little drunk anyway.

Just watch the video (it's about 10 minutes long). Then shut off your electronic devices and start planning your adventures. Plan interesting athletic sh*t. Think of something a little out there and just go do it.  Run in the woods in the middle of nowhere at strange times of the day (or night), during less than desirable conditions. Get covered in mud.  Freeze your ass off.  Sweat your ass off.  Push yourself to the brink of exhaustion.  Bleed. Breathe. Laugh.   Make the effort just because you can, it's there, and it'll never be the same as it is right now.

If you're here, on this stupid blog/site, reading my drunken rhetoric, then I know you know what I'm talking about.  I know you get it.

There is a tomorrow but it's not today.





Tuesday, January 29, 2013

MMXIII - Week 05

MON.- 5mi. - felt pretty decent for standard, recovery-type road run -- other than usual post trail race aches (lateral lower leg soreness, medial ankle tenderness etc.) [36:00]

TUE.- 0- went letterboxing with the kids in the woods instead. Fun but slightly frustrating teaching 9 and 6 year olds how to utilize a compass and the concept of degrees ("It doesn't mean temperature, damn it!"). No fitness gained but it was totally worth it.

WED.- 16mi. - snuck in some miles in Arcadia.  Snowy, icy, muddy, slushy, misty, foggy, warm (high 50s) conditions? Yes please!!  Even managed to bag 5 letterboxes around spur trails of Breakheart Pond.  No food or water so I was forced to eat dirty snow like a wild animal a few times.  Bombed down any and all descents.  Started to flirt with bonk city around the 1:50 mark but was able to maintain solid effort and consistent high 7:00s for pace (felt like high 6:00s on some of the ascents).  Legs still feeling the race from Sunday and didn't appreciate the outing, but my mind certainly did. [2:06:50]

THU.- 5mi. - nice and easy around home (on the road, not literally "around the home" like Seth). Legs a little tired. [36:50]

FRI.- 0 - family time trumped running.  A little extra rest cannot hurt I suppose.

SAT.- 7mi. - an easy group run with Jonny, Seth, Mike, Sandals, and the Fullers in/around Duval in the early morning sunrise.  Perfect pre-race run.  [56:15]

SUN. 9mi.  - "Super 5K" in Narragansett.  Huge WTAC turnout--awesome!!  We ended up taking home the team prize.  I really enjoyed seeing all of our singlets there.  I ran pretty well.  Finished 17:01 (2 f*&*ing seconds!!) and managed pretty even splits.  Brief write-up later in a separate post. 

MUDDOLILOQUY:
A somewhat intentional lower mileage week.  I really wanted to not overdo it after how I felt at last week's 10k (both going in and during).  The 5K was great fun for me, both as an individual accomplishment as well as for my team.  A new PR was great but just missing my REAL goal of 16:59 was not as great.  Still good fun.  But I have to admit, for selfish reasons, I enjoyed my Wednesday 2 hour jaunt in Arcadia much, much, much more.  Looking forward to next Sunday's Brrrr-lingame 10 miler and then after that, I'm actually anxious to get back into long runs/marathon focused training.  This week may cost me a little in that department but nothing too major.  I'm not worried. Whatever....

Monday, January 28, 2013

Belleville Pond 10K Trail Race

Race start (photo courtesy of Ellen Galoob - 8 yrs. old)

At the end of a rather frigid week I along with my shivering body parts, took on the third race of the South County 4th Season- Belleville Pond 10K Trail Race.  As the description states: "time to up the distance".  With more cold air (although rising temps) and some snow covered trails, this one looked like it was going to be interesting.

I arrived rather early and stood around playing with the Galoob girls, Ben, and the Fullers (Ellen and Lily are much more imaginative and fun than their older counterparts).  Finally, as more and more racers arrived, and after warming up for 5 minutes in my truck, Jonny and I headed out for a 3.5-4 mile warmup around the parts of the course.  The wind across the pond left me nearly at "absolute zero" on the Kelvin scale but once we got into the woods I warmed up nicely.  By the end of the warmup/recon, I was still unsure if I was going to race in a pullover on top of my thin long sleeved undershirt (and the WTAC singlet of course) or simply go thin long sleeved shirt and singlet.  The pullover won out, and ultimately this proved to be a poor choice as I felt overly hot during most of the race. 

At the start, the usual cast of characters took off and I moved into 7th place as we funneled down into single file along the trails.  By the time we got out onto the rail bed, I had moved into 4th and tried to stick close to Jonny and the leaders.  Derek J and Bob J pulled away slightly as did Jonny and I was passed by the younger Principe.  This annoyed me slightly and left me second guessing myself but we turned off the rail bed and out into some fields where I was able to pass Principe Jr. back again.  It was here, as we crossed near powerlines and up a small hill into single track that I was where I thought I should be: only 5m or so behind the leading triumverate.  Unfortunately, they started to pull away along a rolling and twisting single track section that parallels Route 4.  I tried to push it but those guys just kept rolling, looking really, really strong.  It was pretty cool watching Jonny and Jackman battle back and forth, trading second place.  Jonny took the lead on hills while Jackman restole the position on the downhills.  Around the 3 mile mark or so, several spectators, (including new 35+  4 x 800 world record holder Greg Hammett) were cheering and videoing/photographing.  At this point I started to feel SUPER hot and tired.  Damn it!

As we veered back into more single track, I realized that I couldn't even SEE those guys anymore. Uh-oh, not a good sign.  To add fuel to the fire, I could still "feel"/sense DJ Principe nipping at my heels.  I tried to push it again and gap him a little bit and as we hit the new section of single track (different from last year) I stole a glance back and saw that he was about 4-5 seconds back.  Not only was I fading fast behind the leaders but I couldn't shake Li'l Captain Kerosene.  Not good.

When we turned back onto the railbed I knew that if I didn't try and bear down, DJ could catch me.  I paid particular attention to my gait and tried to pick up the pace.  Given the lengthy straightway I could see 2nd and 3rd place and saw Jonny still leading Jackman!  Hell yeah, Jonny!  When they turned back off to hit up the final single track and pond crossing, I obviously lost sight of them.  Just me and Principe Jr.  Is he closing on me?  Is he going to devour my bones and spit me out?

I tried to really hump it through the "Root Run" section, across the bridge, (Ellen snapping away photos) and back along more roots.  I love technical footing and am usually able to fly through it.  Perhaps that might gain me some seconds?  The course then dumped out behind a ball field and after circling around, (and glancing back again to see that I would at least be able to hold off Principe Jr. and Tom G.), I tried to push it in but I didn't have much left.  I finished 4th OA in 39:47 and pretty was rather despondent. We ended up losing yet again to TnT in another close battle, but I was more upset with how I felt during the race - hot, slow, out of shape. A short cooldown with Jonny again before going back for awards/announcements.

When I finally stopped pouting later on that night, I realized that I was only 7 seconds off last year's Belleville 10k time, (almost the same course).  No big deal.  No excuses.  I cannot blame it on traction (didn't really slip too much other than the Rte. 4 section).  I cannot blame it on overheating (next time run naked). I cannot blame it on tiredness/lack of sleep (got plenty during the week if not too much Saturday night).  I just didn't run fully to what I believe (know) is  my potential. Next time.

More races to come and I'm already (one day post-race) getting excited for them.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

MMXIII - Week 04

DISCLAIMER:  I originally started the year by simply posting weekly totals on Sundays with a brief recap of what transpired during the week.  However, in addition to getting my balls busted by several running friends for not posting "what I'm doing", I've come to realize that I actually like updating events throughout the week.  I'm going back to the old way.  Sorry if this disappoints the 2 or 3 people who actually read this.


MON.- 20 mi. - tiring escapade with Gazelle and Mike C. in and around Barn Island.  11.5 or so easy on trails then, after parting ways with Crutch, we tackled 5 miles on the rolling hills/roads at intended M pace.  We rolled along at 6:13/6:20/6:05/6:06/6:07. Oops! We were shooting for 6:20-6:30 pace.  See Gazelle's more in-depth writeup here. Slogged home afterwards.  Man, I was (still am?) tired. [2:41:XX]

TUE.- 4mi. - easy shakeout in the bitter cold afternoon.  Legs didn't feel too bad. Had to wear a neck warmer over my lower face. [31:01]

WED.- 7mi. - on the awful treadmill at the newly renovated Y.  This was essentially a "no clean cold weather running attire" run.  Can't run outside in short shorts and a light tech shirt when its this cold (unless you're a Gazelle).  Didn't overdo this one with a 2 x 1600, 2 x 800 all @ 10K pace with easy, extended recoveries in between. .  [51:28]

THU.- 0 - Fell asleep in chair twice while reading The Rise And Fall of The Third Reich.  Although interesting, it cannot keep a fatigued runner/dad awake.  Went to bed before my children at 1930. 9.5 hrs of sleep - HOORAH!! Rest is good.

FRI.- 6mi. - a tad bit too fast on the roads, especially so soon before a race.  I couldn't/can't help it.  When its cold, I just start too fast and want to get it done.  No Man's Land running is for suckers. Oops. [38:19]

SAT.-5mi.  - easy run in the light snow covered trails of Grills Preserve.  Double down on the wool socks again. With Yaktrax also-helped on some of the uphill climbs. [39:08]

SUN.-13mi.  - Belleville Pond 10K Trail Race. Tough day out there from the get go.  Struggled from 800m on.  Still managed to finish 4th OA (39:47) but faded and faded and faded.  The three leaders (Jonny!!!) crushed it.  Sucked watching them pull away half way through the second mile.  Maybe I should've worn Yak trax but traction wasn't an issue except for a little bit near the Rte 4 section. I just didn't have it today. Still fun but humbling. Despite my miserable self and suffering, I did enjoy watching (from a great distance) Jonny and Jackman duke it out.  Wish I could've been closer to them and watched the entire battle unfold.  In depth analysis at a later point.

MUDD-O-LILOQUY: Good week with mileage at this stage of the game.  Cold weather was a bit of a bitch but wasn't it for every runner this week?!?  I really enjoyed the 20 miler on Monday and the race was fun but as I said, I'm just a little bit disappoined in how I felt and ultimately with my overall performance.  No time for pissing and moaning though- Super 5K next Sunday. Back to the 3.1 mile road "sprint".  Push it hard the entire time, suffer your ass off, and hope you can hold on.  Hope Turtles don't show up.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

MMXIII - Week 03

MILES:
54

Mon-5 (easy)
Tue-10 (hilly medium effort around Boombridge Rd)
Wed-10 (Yawgoo 3 x 5K)
Thu-off
Fri-6 (cold, windy and felt blah)
Sat-16 (Carter Preserve & Carolina Mgmt)
Sun-7 (easy in Grills Preserve)

HIGHS:
* 3 x 5K (sort of) workout with Mike, Jonny, and Ben at Yawgoo.  We were realling moving on the last 3.1 loop.  A look at the time (18:40) shows a good T-pace run on that segment but with the terrain, it felt like I was racing a 5K!

*Windy run from Meadowbrook into Carter Preserve with Gazelle.  Good run with good conversation centered around civics trivia.  After dropping off Jeff (12 miles) I continued on into NS Trail and spurs before crossing back around the outer perimeter of the turf field section.  There were Canada Geese everywhere and I approached  a group of about 12 or so on the ground.  Before really knowing it, I was "on top" of them and realized that they were decoys.  I began yelling and making noise.  I nearly stumbled over a hunter, shrouded in a camo lean-to with a goose call and a shotgun cradled in his arms.  I apologized for running near his set up to which he replied "CUSS you you CUSSING piece of CUSS CUSShole!".  Luckily I realized that I'm only about 24.7% as tough as I think I am and kept running away from the camo-clad Josh Ference wannabe.

*Easy Sunday morning in Grills Preserve at a leisurely pace.  The weather was absolutely gorgeous (high 40s, almost no wind, sunny, etc.)  Sometimes I forget how awesome it is to go easy and just dawdle around the woods.

LOWS:
* wind and cold reminded me a few times that yes, it IS January.

*on a few different runs, hills reminded me that I'm not as awesome as I should be

Friday, January 18, 2013

Disappointing The Gazelle

With mid-term exams starting yesterday (Thursday), I had the plan of "treating myself" with a double this morning (Friday).  I figured that since students would be taxing themselves over 116 biology questions, I could afford to go in "late", which is actually on time at 0700, rather than the usual hour earlier.  Perfect!!  That would allow me to run an easy 4-5 in the dark and sub-30 degree morning and then do something a little more taxing in the afternoon (miles of tempo sandwiched in around a longer w/u and cooldown?).  I'm convinced that, when it comes to running, making plans is almost as much fun as the actual running events themselves.

When the alarm went off this morning, I hit snooze.  When it went off again, I repeated the same action. When it went off 9 minutes later, I turned it off, sat up in bed and looked out the window.  Someone had painted it completely black and thrown some type of frosting along the outer edges of the class.  Crawling out of bed I glanced at the thermometer (26 degrees).  Hmmh.

I crawled back in bed and decided to lie there and think about running instead.  Rest = recovery, right?!?  Despite taking a zero yesterday (much needed), I guess I'm just trying to really, really, really recover.  I simply don't know how gazelles are able to do a 0445 club several times per week.

Running in the dark--super fun!  Running in the cold--I love it and prefer it MUCH more than running in the sweltering, crotch rotting, humidity of July and August.  But running in the cold AND the dark BEFORE work?  Ugh....

The events this morning, or the lack thereof,  left me feeling like a ghost of my running self.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Paper or Plastic?

I feel like I'm absolutely by far in the minority with this age old question.  To be clear, this has nothing to do with shopping and packaging of groceries.  Paper should be the answer with that one--always.  I've some friends that used to be gainfully employed by Stop & Shop.  Guess what they do with that box of returned/recycled plastic "t shirt" bags that shoppers so dutifully return to the front of the store when they go shopping-- the bags simply end up in the dumpster behind the store.  Go with paper when purchasing food from big box stores or little local businesses.  Or, better yet, bring your own reusable canvas bags.

It'll all end up in the ocean someday....
A recent poll on Level Renner asked renners to vote on which software they use to track their running & training data.  I don't use an online training log.  Instead I go the old way--a self printed (and with the help of Staples), spiral bound and laminated little paper log.  Is my paper log the softest of software?  Is it less practical than a virtual/electronic one? Am I a freak for still doing it the dinosaur way?

Apparently, I'm one of the only people that follows this philosophy with running/training logs.  With the advent several years ago of online training data bases and GPS configurations, almost all athletes utilize electronic ("plastic") training logs.  It makes sense.  You can't lose them (if you back them up like a responsible user).  You have access to the data anywhere at anytime.  It's also much easier to share your training data with friends or "frienemies", as well as spy on those same friends and competitors.  Whether using a standard blog, Strava, logyourrun.com, or any of the other myriad of online choices, electronic is clean, effective, environmentally friendly and oh so simple and easy. Am I stupid for not doing it?

Call me old fashioned but there is just something awesome and comforting about coming back from a run and either while stretching (I rarely do that) or getting ready to shower, quickly jotting down data from a training run that was just completed.  In between sets of pushups I can jot down meaningful data to drag out  and lengthen my rest intervals so that my pathetic core/upper body doesn't implode.  Perhaps you may choose to wait until after the shower when you can snuggle up to the cellulose bundle with a beer (or coffee, tea, etc. if they're more your style) and jot down in "Bic Blood" your times, splits, distances, physiological feedback, weather, weight, training shoes utilized, course, cross training (what's that?), diet/food & fuel intake, etc. 

Either way, I really don't think one is better than the other.  They both have their individualized merits but there is just something to be said for settling in on a dark, dreary New England evening and looking at running logs/notebooks from years passed.  "Wow! I thought a 20 mile week was a big deal back then!". I know I can do that online even easier, but then again, I still prefer bound, "old school" books for personal entertainment in the fiction and non-fiction realm over Nook/Kindle/iPad versions too. I'm just weird like that I guess.

However, you're weird too if you're reading this, my running friends.

People Runners are a strange lot indeed....

Sunday, January 13, 2013

MMXIII - Week 02

MILES:
52

HIGHS:
*long trail run in Big River with Mike, Gazelle, Fivek, Sandals, and Seth (needs a nickname I think).  Super fun and muddy single track.  Worth the 2:17 grind. I'll be going back there many more times throughout the year.

*Yawgoo Hill repeats on Wednesday.  Man these were TOUGH! We only managed 4 of them but the slightly longer than 400 meters felt like all out 800m efforts.  Beers after were a major plus.

*running with newest WTAC members Eric B(?), and the Fullers on Saturday in Burlingame.  Always awesome to meet other weirdo runners and watch the club grow in leaps and bounds. Welcome aboard, mates!!

LOWS:
*some stomach/GI issues on Big River run....but whatever.  You think Anton Krupicka or Scott Jurek have never shit in the woods? 

*sore throat, swollen glands, and hurts to swallow right now.  Hopefully that is all that comes of it.  Maybe I can kill off the microbes with an early afternoon nap & some late afternoon carbonated beverages

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Angel Of Suffering



Seeing as analysts estimate that there were about 5,000 (+/- a few)  WTAC members at the Resolution Beach & Trail 5K yesterday, there is already a plethora of race reports out there.  I think that my teammates, along with Bob Jackman of TnT have done a great job summarizing the day's events already.  My literary drivel would only be rehashing the already obvious. The race was awesome and I loved the course, despite hating sandy beach runs. Although we lost to TNT again, it was still super fun.   Basically my plan was to run hard, run smart, and then run even harder.  I achieved that. There--that's my pathetic report.

Instead, what I've decided to do is update those not already in the know about a rather strange, repeated occurrence that has transpired twice over the last few weeks.  Once is  a fluke, twice is a coincidence, three times and its a miracle, Charlie Brown!! But first, its necessary to back up to Christmas....

Once upon a time....
..while with my family on Christmas day at my parents' house, we were all reminded of my 9 yr old son's hatred for dolls.  He cannot stand their "freaky unblinking eyes, and joint-free, unbending limbs". My mother had planted a really creepy looking, plug in angel as a decoration near her tree. This caused a sh*t show when it was spotted--no being in the room with the angel, no eating in the room adjacent to, etc.  I grabbed it, tossed it outside and all was forgotten, until we left. Going out to warmup the vehicles, I found the forlorn angel lying in the driveway and decided to toss it in the back of my truck. Not sure why, but I did.

Fast forward to a couple days later when several WTAC members and I went to Chariho for some trackwork (mix of sets of 400s and 200s).  As I pulled in late to the parking lot, the angel fell out of the truck.  I proceeded to joke about bringing along an Angel of Death or a Guardian of Suffering to watch us workout.  I placed her on the roof of the truck and we then proceeded to KILL the workout, under the watchful eyes of the blond haried, blue eyed, winged flying beast.  I was amazed by my times and, although it was pretty tough, I felt like I didn't overdo it. Maybe she was the Angel O' Intervals. 

Fast forward to yesterday's race in Narragansett.  When I arrived, (with Angel in tow, still rolling around on the filthy floor of my truck), Mike asked me to park my truck near the entrance to the beach parking lot.  This would serve as a guide to lead arriving racers into the lot and park there, rather than the main beach parking area which was closed. No problem, until I realized that I had no tape, rope, wire, etc in my truck.  I quickly MacGyvered a loop through the sign out of a shoelace from one of my extra pairs of running shoes and tried to tie it to the grill of my truck.  The only problem was that wind began twisting the sign around so it was unreadable.  If only someone could hold the sign here. Enter the Angel of Suffering. After I looped the first shoelace around her neck, I proceeded to use a second shoelace to tie her to the grill of the truck.  Apparently it worked--all racers arrived and parked in the designated area.

Hold my sign, b*tch!
 The additional angelic benefit - I proceeded to run much better in the race than I had anticipated and didn't kill myself in the process...AGAIN! Two consecutive hard running events, chaperoned by the Angel of Suffering, with two straight successful outcomes.  Coincidence?  I think not.

Disclaimer: In all seriousness, I do not believe in karma, fate, superstition, destiny or any of that other stuff. Fate is simply what you decide to do next.  I am the keeper and controller of my fate & destiny-- nobody else! But just to be safe, I'm bringing her along to the next sufferfest I partake in.  How can I risk not letting her tag along?  Look for her at the Belleville 10k. 

Hopefully turtles fear angels.

Monday, January 7, 2013

MMXIII - Week 01

MILES:
42 (only 37 count on the year)

HIGHS:
*Really pleased with my race on Sunday (Resolution Beach & Trail 5K)--2nd OA in 18:27

*Got to sneak in some short hill reps on Wednesday (6 x ~200)

*Using my new paper training log (I know, I know...I'm olde schoole like that). Love the layout. Thanks to MJ Fiesty and Greg for the sharing of the resources.

LOWS:
*thought I was getting the family viral illness (headache, achey, etc.)on Friday. May have been just mental.  I'm the last of the Mohegans (the rest of Team Muddy has been banged up for the last few weeks).  Am I doomed?!?

*WTAC foiled by those damn Turtles AGAIN!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

MMXII

Time for the obligatory look back at 2012.  Feel free to "fast forward" (scroll down) to end of year stats at the bottom of the post if you don't feel like reading through my slightly drunken reflections. 

I guess this is/was my best year of running so far.  To summarize: this year was loaded with PRs and smiles. I had fun at just about every event/race.  I ran relatively injury-free (nothing major other than minor 2-3 aches/pains).  WTAC is alive and well, flourishing really.  Mason, my 9 yr old son is discovering (I think) that running is somewhat fun sometimes. I've duped yet again another acquaintance into running and realizing it is one of the greatest things ever.  My other running friends, many of them new in my circle of awesomeness, are ripping it up, despite being 32 yrs old + (note: some are much, much, older).  Level Renner, which I'm lucky to be included in as a south sider and not a "real runner",  is reallying blossoming as well. Sky's the limit! I feel as though I've had some creative, weird running "adventures" and I'm really looking forward to increasing these.  Basically, my life excites me and that is thanks in no small part to running. Man, how could somebody try it and NOT like it?!? Seriously, if they were to start from scratch and grind it out for first 3 weeks, how could someone not fall in love with it? Mind, body, and soul.....

Easy synopsis: 2012 was pretty damned fun.  My mother asked me the other day how much longer I think I can keep this up.  Seriously, mom?  Really?  Until I'm dead I guess. Is that an appropriate response?  I know I'm probably plateauing at this point in terms of fitness, ability, times, etc., but so what?  Age division competition, over 40 PRs, and physical & mental benefits are reason enough to keep turning them over. P.S.-I'm only 35 so that 40+ division is a ways off.

Anyway, on to some statistics.  Take everything for what it's worth. No amazing stuff here....

2012 Final Stats
Total mileage for 2012: 2308
Days running in 2012 (discounting doubles): 282
# of doubles run:19
Average mileage per day run: 8.18
Average weekly mileage: 44.4
Longest distance run: 27 (marathon)
Shortest distance run: 2
Races run in 2012: 20
Wins: 2
PRs at formal 2012 races: 9
Highest mileage week: 63
Lowest mileage week: 8
Days missed to "injuries" or illness:8
Monthly totals:
     Jan.-218
     Feb.- 179
     Mar.- 209
     Apr.- 203
     May- 172
     Jun.- 178
     Jul.- 240
     Aug.- 201
     Sep.- 168
     Oct.- 161
     Nov.- 185
     Dec.- 197

We all need to just remember that running is an awesome game changer and totally fun no matter what. In celebration of this mindset, I ended 2012 this morning by running an easier, but still fast, 5 miler in Yak Trax with a long, black haired wig on, laughing on the icy, slushy roads.  My children are embarassed by me but I know I'm the real deal so....whatever.

Running and business up front, party in the back!

Goals for 2013 -- I really think all of these are definitely within my reach:
1. Run 2500+ miles
2. "Trick" another friend into becoming a running junkie.
3. Run sub 2:50 for 26.2
4. Run sub 17:00 for 5K
5. Run sub 5:00 mile
6. Increase the prosperity and success of my running club, WTAC.
7. Stay healthy and injury free.
8. Run more doubles--because they're awesome and I like them!!
9. Run at least 300 days
10. Don't hit annual late spring, end of school year fall off (i.e. May & June)
11. Run at least 3 "crazy"/adventure runs.....(i.e. R.I. Sea to Summit, all of Narragansett Trail, etc.) - half of the fun is in the planning....
12. Run at least 1/3 of overall mileage in the woods, on trails, etc.
13. Maybe drink a little less beer.


May your footstrikes always be perfect, your lungs always filled with oxygen, your hills always seem small, and the your trails remain extra muddy.

Stay tired and thirsty, amigos.